Elected on a claim that he would stave off a “Wisconsin Moment,” Governor Dannel Malloy and his “policy partner” and side-kick Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, have not only ushered in Connecticut’s own anti-public employee, anti-government service and anti-middle class “moment,” but Malloy and Wyman are making it clear that nothing less than a Wisconsin Era.
Malloy is saying that the only budget that will get his signature is a full-fledged austerity budget; a spending plan that destroys vital state services and lays off public employees while coddling the rich and shifting even more of Connecticut’s already unfair and inequitable tax burden onto the back of Connecticut’s middle class.
In his latest diatribe, the ever smug, sanctimonious and thin-skinned bully of a governor has announced that he will veto any spending plan put forward by the General Assembly’s Democratic majority that reverses Malloy’s record-breaking, mean-spirited and draconian cuts to the critically important services that Connecticut residents need and deserve.
Pontificating that Democratic lawmakers won’t consider “enough spending cuts,” Malloy has – yet again – telegraphed that when it comes to the state’s revenue and expenditure plan it is his way or no way. It is a strategy that will require unprecedented state employee layoffs, will reduce the availability of critically important services for Connecticut’s most vulnerable citizens, will mean less funding for Connecticut’s public schools and colleges, and will lead to higher local property taxes for Connecticut’s middle income families.
In addition to harming Connecticut residents, the Malloy-Wyman approach to governance leaves the leadership of Connecticut’s unions with egg on their faces and blood on their hands.
As many will recall, during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, Connecticut’s union leaders were only too proud to hoist Dannel Malloy onto their shoulders with the false claim that Malloy, and Malloy alone, would protect Connecticut from following the dark and devastating tactics being implemented by Wisconsin’s right-wing, Tea Party governor and legislature.
As the media and union representatives reported in June 2014,
Preventing a “Wisconsin moment” from taking place in Connecticut was the prevailing theme of the Connecticut AFL-CIO’s 10th biennial political convention.
A union blog post at the time reported,
“AFSCME President Lee Saunders electrified the more than 300 union delegates to the convention with his keynote address on June 16” roaring, “We can’t afford Connecticut to become another Wisconsin.”
“This election is in our hands. If we turn out the vote of people who share our values, who want to preserve the middle class, who care about quality public services, then we will win.”
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) leadership explained,
We have chosen to support candidates who will act to prevent a ‘Wisconsin moment’ here in Connecticut,”
And the President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO echoed the rhetoric at a press conference to announce labor’s support for Malloy saying,
“In recent weeks we’ve heard candidates talk about Connecticut having a ‘Wisconsin moment.’ Well let me say unequivocally — we are not Wisconsin.”
In response Malloy bragged about his commitment to a Connecticut moment,” explaining that,
“A Connecticut moment is when you stand up for your fellow citizens.”
In the weeks that followed, AFSCME dumped $1.2 million into the Super PAC that was created to support Malloy and Wyman’s effort to spend four more years in office.
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) added $600,000 and SEIU donated $550,000 to the same political committee.
Another $160,000 in union member funds was slid into the slush-fund that Malloy’s campaign operatives were using to get around Connecticut’s campaign finance laws.
Now, eighteen months later, Malloy and Wyman are standing up on these issues…
But rather than standing up for the People of Connecticut and doing their right thing, they are standing up, turning their backs and walking away from the very people who elected them.
To better understand the damage being wrought by Malloy, Wyman and their policies, one need only read some of the unsettling commentary pieces that have been published by many of Connecticut’s media outlets. For example,